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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Marco Schnabel
Cast:
Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Omid Djalili, Verne Troyer, Ben Kingsley, Jessica Simpson, Kanye West, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Colbert
Writing Credits:
Mike Myers, Graham Gordy

Tagline:
His Karma is Huge.

Synopsis:
A hilarious comedy starring Mike Myers as guru Pitka in his first original character since the blockbuster hit, Austin Powers. Myers plays an American raised in India by gurus (Tugginmypudha & Satchabigknoba) and returns to the U.S. in order to break into the self-help business. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player (Romany Malco), whose wife left him for a rival athlete, Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake). Mini Me is back from Austin Powers and plays the hockey coach for more classic comedic moments that will have audiences laughing from opening to closing credits.

Box Office:
Budget
$62 million.
Opening Weekend
$13.907 million on 3012 screens.
Domestic Gross
$32.178 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $36.99
Release Date: 9/16/2008

Bonus:
• “Mike Myers and The Love Guru: A Look Inside” Featurette
• “One Hellava Elephant” Featurette
• “Hockey Training for Actors” Featurette
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Bloopers
• “Back in the Booth with Trent and Jay”
• “Outtakes and More”
• Trailer
• Digital Copy
• Previews


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EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Love Guru: Special Edition (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 5, 2008)

Ever since 2003’s flop The Cat in the Hat, Mike Myers has maintained a low profile, at least as a live-action performer. He showed up as the lead voice in the second and third Shrek flicks, but his only live-action appearance came via a glorified cameo in another bomb, 2004’s View from the Top.

This made 2008’s The Love Guru an attempt at a comeback vehicle for Myers. He plays Guru Pitka, an Indian self-help master. He gets called in to help hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco). The Toronto Maple Leafs’ star gets the shakes when his marriage goes on the rocks after his wife Prudence (Meagan Good) does the nasty with rival goalie Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake).

Desperate for assistance, Leafs owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) calls on Pitka for his assistance with Roanoke. She offers Pitka two million dollars to fix Roanoke’s marriage and help the team win the Stanley Cup. Pitka also sees this as a way to get onto Oprah and top Deepak Chopra as the number one self-help dude. The film follows his work with Roanoke as well as his attempts to romance sexy Jane.

Don’t be surprised if Myers runs back to the safety of Austin Powers, as his attempt to launch a new franchise with Love Guru totally flopped. The movie received scathing reviews and earned a pittance at the box office. It took in a mere $32 million – terrible for a big summer release - and sank like a stone.

Did it deserve the negative notices and the poor box office receipts? Yup. While I wouldn’t refer to Guru as the worst film ever made, it certainly comes as an unfunny disappointment.

In the past, Myers has been unafraid to embrace lowbrow humor, but there was some element of self-mocking cleverness to it. None of that occurs via the relentless parade of toilet gags found in Guru. Here it appears Myers has never met a joke too cheap or crass. We find a constant stream of bits related to male genitalia and various bodily functions. We can see each of these coming a mile in advance, and not a single one seems witty or bright.

Guru also throws out pun after pun. I once dated a woman who thought that puns were the lowest form of humor. I don’t agree – the toilet gags mentioned in the prior paragraph are as bad as it gets – but puns can flop, especially when they don’t demonstrate much intelligence. The puns of Guru follow the same crass approach seen in most of its other jokes, and they rarely make much sense. They simply add to the film’s witlessness.

To make things worse, the film shows such a dearth of creativity that it repeats the same gags ad infinitum. For instance, Pitka greets all his adherents with “Mariska Hargitay”. That bit isn’t particularly funny the first time; it becomes painful the 50th. Guru regurgitates too many of its bits over and over, a factor that makes it tedious as well as painful.

Guru relies on a slew of cameos for cheap laughs – though these never prompt humor – and Myers overacts relentlessly. That’s always been a weakness of his, as Myers loves to mug for the camera. He goes more over the top than usual here, however. Perhaps he recognized the feeble nature of the material and tried to provoke some chuckles from the dismal jokes, but his performance makes things worse.

The only consolation I take from Guru is that its box office failure means we’ll never have to see the character again. Myers wanted to launch another franchise but moviegoers firmly rejected Guru. Good for them!


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

The Love Guru appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The movie featured an acceptable transfer.

Sharpness usually appeared acceptably accurate and detailed. At times, however, I found the image to come across as a little fuzzy and soft, with lesser definition seen in some of the wide shots. Nonetheless, most of the movie appeared clear and appropriately focused. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, but I noticed some light edge enhancement at times. No print flaws materialized; the film remained clean and fresh.

In terms of colors, the flick went with a moderately subdued set of tones. Hues stayed on the natural side, with a mild golden tint to things. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine. Blacks were dark and firm, while shadows appeared clear and well-developed. The image didn’t really excel, but it was good.

As for the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a functional effort and that was all. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. Surround usage stayed limited most of the time. A few “action” scenes – usually on the hockey rink - opened things up in a minor way, but the rear speakers really had little to do here.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but they conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.

When we move to the extras, we begin with a few featurettes. Mike Myers and The Love Guru: A Look Inside goes for nine minutes, 37 seconds, as it mixes movie clips, behind the scenes shots, and interviews. We hear from director Marco Schabel and actors Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Verne Troyer, and Mariska Hargitay. We learn about the origins and development of the Guru Pitka character, Myers’ approach to comedy and his work on the set, cast and performances, cameos, and some scene specifics.

A few decent notes appear here – mostly about the character’s roots – but the featurette usually remains fluffy. There’s a definite promotional tone at work here, so don’t expect much real info. Oh, and don’t watch it before you check out the movie, as it ruins some potential surprises.

A look at the movie’s practical effects arrives with the five-minute and 46-second One Hellava Elephant. It features Stefaniuk FX Studios’ Ron Stefaniuk and puppeteer Frank Meschkuliet. They tell us about the elephant animatronic created for Myers to ride as well as a fake ostrich used in one scene. They give us a good nuts and bolts look at their work.

Hockey Training for Actors lasts eight minutes, four seconds and provides notes from Myers, 2nd unit director/hockey coordinator Mark Ellis, actor Romany Malco, and hockey players Bob Probert and Jim Thomson. We learn a little about getting the actors in shape to perform the hockey scenes. Though a smattering of interesting remarks pop up – particularly about Malco – the show mostly wants to convince us how good the hockey action looks. It’s another fairly insubstantial piece.

11 Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 35 seconds. Most of the clips offer basic gags, but a minor omitted subplot emerges when we learn about a competing Eastern philosophy. Nothing entertaining appears here, though a reference to Kanye West’s Katrina telethon controversy almost amuses.

Next we find three minutes and 50 seconds of Bloopers. With Myers on the set, I hoped these would be more clever than the usual goofs and giggles. A few minor fun bits emerge, but the set is usually just the standard blooper fare.

More cut footage arrives via Back in the Booth with Trent and Jay. The five-minute and nine-second reel shows cut game commentary from the Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan. I didn’t think it was funny, but if you liked the movie, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Finally, Outtakes and More goes for 10 minutes, 14 seconds. Here we locate some brief deleted snippets and alternate takes on bits that made the final movie. Again, nothing here makes me laugh, but it’s a nice addition for fans.

A few ads open DVD One. We get clips for Eagle Eye, Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Without a Paddle: Nature’s Calling. These also appear in the Previews area along with a clip for The Foot Fist Way. The disc also includes the trailer for Love Guru.

DVD Two includes a Digital Copy of Love Guru. This lets you transfer the flick to your computer, your iPod, your iPhone, or whatever other modern gizmo the youngsters love. I’ll never use it, but it’s there if you want it.

Mike Myers’ comeback will have to wait for another day, as The Love Guru turned into a major flop. And a deserved flop at that, as the flick was witless and idiotic. The DVD provides reasonably good picture and audio along with a few moderately interesting extras. Not a laugh can be found in this tedious dud.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 22
25:
14:
0 3:
02:
191:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main